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Douglas Hess

Assistant Professor


I teach American Politics and Policy Studies courses at Grinnell College as well as Introduction to Statistics.

My current research focuses on voting rights and social policy in the U.S. I am also interested in civil society (nonprofit) studies, program evaluation (and other forms of analysis), and how governance structures influence the implementation and outcomes of policies. Two other passions of mine include observing political and community development in Haiti and learning about Grinnell College’s greatest alumni Harry L. Hopkins ‘12.  

I grew up in Iowa and graduated from Grinnell College in 1991. Prior to returning to Grinnell to teach, I spent two decades working on social problems of various kinds. I spent part of that time directing, advising, or otherwise assisting civil rights and voting rights projects for various nonprofit organizations. Earlier, I worked with community and labor organizers in the U.S. in Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, and in DC. I have also worked in Haiti, and with Haitians in the U.S., on human rights and pro-democracy projects in that nation. I have taught for both Grinnell College’s and Smith College’s off-campus programs in Washington, DC and for George Washington University. 

Campus Phone: 

(641) 269-4383


(641) 269-4985


Grinnell College

College Graduation Year: 




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On-Campus Address: 

Carnegie Hall 309
Grinnell, IA 50112
United States

Office Hours: 

Office hours change from semester to semester, so check your course syllabi for office hours. Also you can check the schedule outside my door (Carnegie Hall, Office 309). Please email me if you need to meet outside those times.

Education / Degrees: 

Ph.D., Public Policy, George Washington University, 2012.
MA, Policy Studies, Johns Hopkins University, 1999.
BA, Psychology, Grinnell College, 1991.

Courses Taught: 

POL 101: Introduction to Political Science
POL 216: Politics of Congress
PST 220: Foundations of Policy Analysis
PST 320: Applied Policy Analysis
PST 420: Advanced Policy Research
MAT 115: Introduction to Statistics